Let the Right One In: Children, Vampires and Queers - Social Realism and the Paranormal

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Abstract

In the recent abundance of youth culture vampire books and films, John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In (Sweden 2005 / 2008) stands out as a text that holds in careful tension political questions about transgressive sexuality and the image of the child in contemporary culture. This paper seeks to engage with how the text reflects current societal anxieties about social disconnect, children and sexuality, by offering a reading of the 2008 film alongside the novel it is based on, suggesting that some of the adjustments made for the film version can be seen as indicative of critical points in the text that are particularly problematic. In light of Nina Auerbach’s (1995) argument that each age ‘embraces the vampire it needs and gets the vampire it deserves’, the paper seeks to raise questions about the significance in the shift from the purely predatory and immoral vampire to the vampire that cares and wants to do good; from the sexually knowledgeable vampire to the child vampire with connotations of sexual innocence; and the shift away from longstanding metaphors for gender transgressive desires and homoeroticism associated with the vampire to representations of other forms of sexual dissidence and otherness.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2010
EventThe University of Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies conference 'Paranormal Cultures' - University of Sussex, UK
Duration: 4 Jun 2010 → …

Conference

ConferenceThe University of Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies conference 'Paranormal Cultures'
Period4/06/10 → …

Fingerprint

Vampires
Paranormal
Social Realism
Sexuality
Sexual
Film Version
Otherness
Sweden
Indicative
Youth Culture
Homoeroticism
Dissidence
Innocence
Anxiety

Keywords

  • Vampires in film and literature
  • representation of children
  • representation of sexuality
  • social realism
  • Scandinavian Cinema
  • adaptation
  • the paranormal and metaphor
  • sexual dissidence
  • otherness
  • John Ajvide Lindqvist
  • Let the Right One In
  • True Blood
  • Twilight

Cite this

Jenzen, O. (2010). Let the Right One In: Children, Vampires and Queers - Social Realism and the Paranormal. The University of Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies conference 'Paranormal Cultures', .
Jenzen, Olu. / Let the Right One In: Children, Vampires and Queers - Social Realism and the Paranormal. The University of Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies conference 'Paranormal Cultures', .
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abstract = "In the recent abundance of youth culture vampire books and films, John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In (Sweden 2005 / 2008) stands out as a text that holds in careful tension political questions about transgressive sexuality and the image of the child in contemporary culture. This paper seeks to engage with how the text reflects current societal anxieties about social disconnect, children and sexuality, by offering a reading of the 2008 film alongside the novel it is based on, suggesting that some of the adjustments made for the film version can be seen as indicative of critical points in the text that are particularly problematic. In light of Nina Auerbach’s (1995) argument that each age ‘embraces the vampire it needs and gets the vampire it deserves’, the paper seeks to raise questions about the significance in the shift from the purely predatory and immoral vampire to the vampire that cares and wants to do good; from the sexually knowledgeable vampire to the child vampire with connotations of sexual innocence; and the shift away from longstanding metaphors for gender transgressive desires and homoeroticism associated with the vampire to representations of other forms of sexual dissidence and otherness.",
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language = "English",
note = "The University of Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies conference 'Paranormal Cultures' ; Conference date: 04-06-2010",

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Jenzen, O 2010, 'Let the Right One In: Children, Vampires and Queers - Social Realism and the Paranormal' The University of Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies conference 'Paranormal Cultures', 4/06/10, .

Let the Right One In: Children, Vampires and Queers - Social Realism and the Paranormal. / Jenzen, Olu.

2010. The University of Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies conference 'Paranormal Cultures', .

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

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Jenzen O. Let the Right One In: Children, Vampires and Queers - Social Realism and the Paranormal. 2010. The University of Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies conference 'Paranormal Cultures', .